April 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Two Geography Students Awarded Joe Ferguson Memorial Scholarship

Two Ohio University students were awarded the Joe Ferguson Memorial Scholarship by the Geography Department.

Allison Shryock, portrait

Allison Shryock

Allison Shryock is majoring in Geography in the Honors Tutorial College.

Sam Smith, portrait

Sam Smith

Sam Smith is majoring in Geography in the Honors Tutorial College.

About the Joe Ferguson Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship commemorates the contribution of Joe Ferguson to Geography at Ohio University and to the National Geographic Society (NGS) as an educator and administrator. Ferguson was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the plane that terrorists crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Bound for California to do environmental work on the Channel Islands, Ferguson and a colleague were taking high school students from Washington, D.C., on the NGS-sponsored trip.

In the department, Joe participated fully in the intellectual life, gave tirelessly as a cartography teaching associate, and worked to create cohesion among his contemporary graduate students. One of the first to be awarded the National Geographic Internship, he moved into the ranks of NGS administrator after its completion. While at NGS he remained in contact with and was supportive of the department whether hosting tours of cartographic field trips or providing materials for distribution at the department’s annual Geofest event. In the larger arena of the institution, he participated in dorm and other social events to the fullest.

While at NGS, Ferguson accomplished many things, especially advancing geographic education. One substantial effort was promoting the state level membership in the NGS sponsored Geography Alliance. His work was effective because he had the requisite background and the personality to bring together the disparate elements from the affiliated state departments.

His spirit and contributions are remembered by this scholarship.

Recipients of the Joe Ferguson Scholarship must be Geography majors, and either a full-time undergraduate student with junior or senior rank, or a graduate student enrolled in or accepted for admission to the University. Preference will be given to a student exemplifying intellectual accomplishment combined with service and good humor.

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